Showering with ‘flowers’

Minsk hosts Russian Culture Ministry’s 6th International Culture Festival: Flowers of Russia

Minsk hosts Russian Culture Ministry’s 6th International Culture Festival: Flowers of Russia. Focusing on talented young musicians and artists, it was this year attended by St. Petersburg ‘flowers’ — musical school pupils.

One of the festival’s performances

Aged 11-16, the multi-time winners and laureates of international contests took part in a gala concert of classical music — Russian Souvenir — hosted by the Belarusian Republican Theatre of Young Spectators. In addition, there was a round table discussion on the Social-Cultural and Extra-Curricular Education of Children, attracting teachers from St. Petersburg, Moscow and Minsk.

The Artistic Leader of Flowers of Russia, Victor Minkov, who is also the Director and Artistic Leader of the Priyut Komedianta (Comedian’s Shelter) St. Petersburg State Drama Theatre, welcomed participants, saying, “Our festival has been a success in Vienna, Prague, Bratislava, Milan and Helsinki. We’ve now come to hospitable and beloved Belarusian land. We communicate here without translators, as we’re united by two wonderful languages: Russian and Belarusian.”

The festival featured two exhibitions: one presented by the St. Petersburg E. Demmeni Theatre of Puppets, which boasts ‘golden treasures’ used by the first Russian State Theatre of Puppets, established in 1918 by Yevgeny Demmeni. On show were Petrushka (made in 1924), Sun-U-Kun, Max and Morits, merry wives of Windsor and famous Cheburashka (now 45 years old), among others. The collection has been touring various countries, notes People’s Artiste of Russia Faina Kostina, who has worked with the troupe for 56 years. She tells us, “These are more than mere puppets, boasting a rich history. Great actors have held them and each has its own story. Some have performed five hundred shows, some three thousand! They are true works of art, made by talented craftsmen. The collection began in the 1930s and the wooden puppets survived the war, without being burnt during the blockade.”

The second exhibition, Russia Through a Child’s Eyes, featured works by young artists aged 10-16 who study at artistic schools throughout Russia. Works hailed from Pskov, Nalchik, Krasnodarsky Krai, the Novosibirsk Region and Tyumen, created using various techniques: watercolour, pastel, gouache, gel pens and wax printing. Their titles speak for themselves: In Nevsky, near a Garden, Autumn at Peter and Paul’s Fortress, Morning on Pestel Street, and Nikolsky Cathedral…

By Svetlana Mazurova
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